eating simply, simply eating: why home cooking counts


Cooking programmes have never been more numerous, Celebrity Chefs’ richer or cooking competitions more popular. Entire television channels are dedicated to food preparation. Yet cooking as an activity has gone the same way as soccer; there are a lot more spectators than active participants. This is proving bad for our health as ready meals and takeaways push real food recipes out of our daily lives. And just as a lack of exercise has contributed to globally expanding waistlines, the fall in the incidence of real food being cooked at home is another important contributor to the rise of obesity and associated diseases. Who would have believed the benefits to be gained from returning to the kitchen might make a material impact on our health and quality of life, and even save you money?

Rediscover the fun of home cooking

Don’t be afraid to step into the limelight of your own kitchen and become a home-grown cooking sensation. And just think of the benefits:

  • Cooking our own meals allows us to better manage what we eat & how we like to eat it
  • Control the quality of the ingredients and accommodate any food intolerance or allergies
  • The chance to make your own ‘Takeaway/Takeout’ food
  • Use the prep work as a way of bonding with friends or family
  • Creates the opportunity to teach your kids simple cooking skills
  • The chance to experiment with herbs and spices or try new foods – let your imagination rip
  • Enjoy the huge nutritional benefits to be had from a home-cooked meal

As your cooking skills improve you will become more creative and begin to revel in the challenge of preparing a nutritious meal, perhaps trying new, exotic foods. And don’t be afraid to just keep it simple; you don’t need to be a cordon-blue chef to cook a wonderful, tasty meal. My main rule is to choose the best seasonable fresh food you can afford that you like to eat and then avoid trying to do anything that seems too complex or fussy; let the food do the work.

If you have a busy lifestyle some dishes are perfect for saving time across the week. Great foods for freezing include casseroles, stews, chillies, meat loaf, pizza and pastry doughs. So when cooking up a stew, go LARGE and freeze the leftovers for delicious dinners later in the week. Homemade convenience food is so much better.

Eating simply, simply eating

Steam, boil, poach, grill, broil, bake and stir-fry. Just think of the possibilities with ingredients you can even have delivered to your door. The key is to take charge of the kitchen and plan ahead.

Meal planning

Meal planning is a great way to deal with too little time to manage a meal-to-meal regime. Planning in advance and ordering accordingly has been found in studies to help increase the level of home meal preparation, which in turn has been linked with an improved diet quality and reduced obesity.

Try the Just Routine Cookbook experience!

Anyone can try the Just Routine Cookbook for free – just download the app. Packed with great ideas on making the most of real food cooking, the Cookbook offers recipes ranging from light lunches to snacks for a quick pick-me-up, as well as hearty family meals.

  • Each recipe includes ‘Health Bites’ explaining the value of particular ingredients
  • All are easily adaptable for individual dietary requirements. After downloading you can personalize them, with the app automatically adjusting the nutritional points
  • Add and develop your own recipes and share them with other users

Everyone can have access to the Cookbook to add up to 5 free recipes and 5 free meals of their choice. You can download recipes from a Just Routine selection or add and delete up to 25 of your own for free, allowing anyone to experiment with the Cookbook experience.

Premium users can download more than 200 Just Routine recipes plus new ones added regularly, as well as adding their own.

Just Routine is our real food app. Designed to be inclusive, to avoid cutting out macro or micro nutrients from our eating regimes, six key food groups lie at its core: Protein, Carbohydrates, Legumes, Vegetables, Fruits, Fats. It’s about eating simply, simply eating.


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Iris is the founder of No Targets Just Routine. She has researched food since 2009 and believes “Happiness is real food shared with loved ones.”

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